Call for Proposals: Mental Health and Fandom

Before the concretization of fan studies as an academic discipline, fans would routinely be labeled and treated as “fanatics” or people with excessive love for something or someone that could lead them to engage in maladaptive, even dangerous, behavior. In a sense, public discourses positioned fandom as a mental health issue. Along with being problematic…

Trauma and Fractured Fandom

This blog post contains my presentation at MPCA/ACA 2019 from our panel on mental health and fandom. This presentation is the first step in a deeper analysis of my fractured fandom work to understand the traumatic experiences fans expressed in their self-interviews. “fear fearfearfearfear feeling hella unsafe”: The Trauma of Fractured Fandoms As a brief…

Indian Cinema Godfather

For the fifty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I are joined by friend and Ph.D. candidate Anis Rahman to consider one of the most important creators in Indian cinema: Satyajit Ray. Thanks to his Bangladeshi heritage, Anis provides important insights into the life and work of Ray. Along with these…

Halloween Podcast on Frankenstein

For the fifty-second episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I are joined by friend and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Stanley to discuss one of the most important horror novels of all time: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The trio discuss the novel’s impact for over 200 years, as an early science fiction novel and in…

PCSJ Vol 7 Is 2: Inaugural Student Showcase

I am happy to announce that the second issue I have edited is now live and free to anyone interested in popular culture studies. More importantly, I am so proud that it features our inaugural Student Showcase, highlighting great scholarship done by undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. These students present their original…

Happy 25th Anniversary, Friends!

Welcome back to a new season! For the fifty-first episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I are joined by our colleague and pop culture scholar Jennifer Dunn to discuss the 25th anniversary of one of the most successful sitcoms of all time: Friends (1994-2004). In this episode, the trio consider the impact of…

(The makings of) A Psychoanalytical Critique of Capitalism

This essay comes from probably 2002 when I was living in Los Angeles and working at an agency — and coming to realize that I had an academic deep down inside of me.           I had the privilege of listening to Deepak Chopra and his son, Gotham, today at separate panel discussions at the Los…

On Representing Our Subjects/Participants/Informants/People

One final old reflection to share, that appears more questions than answers, but, as with the previous one, shows me wrestling with how do to research in a way that validly represents those that I study. These questions are both why I love to study people, but also why I understand the frustration of studying…